Ten Reasons to Participate in Your Local Storytelling Community
- Verbal storytelling is a slowly dying art. It’s like handwriting and mail correspondence. It used to be a way of spreading history and teaching lessons, building memory, and defining reality through various means, which could be passed from generation to generation.
- The beauty of storytelling is that each person who steps on to the stage has a personal truth they wish to communicate. These stories offer lessons, entertainment, and humor, and they reveal a measure of reality that you might never otherwise have the chance to experience (or share). The difference between verbal storytelling and a memoir or a documentary or a biopic is that the present mind of the person speaking is more authentic and in-the-moment.
- Building a connection with the world community has become very important since the advent of the printing press and the Age of Exploration, and the need to connect has grown as the technology has advanced. Creating ties with your local community can sometimes get lost in the process of building those large, often important global connections. Going to your local storytime can allow you to start replanting your roots in your home.
- Some of the storytelling projects, such as the one in Colorado Springs, offer multiple avenues of participation, which means that you can determine your level of involvement. When watching a movie or listening to a radio program or reading a book, you often get one choice, one path toward engagement. With storytelling, the entertainment value is not so limited.
- One method of participation in storytelling is to be on the stage, sharing your voice. Each storytelling program invites people from all walks of life to come and share. Many of the storytimes have themes, which allows the storytellers to focus their intent. One storyteller said her story was tragically sad in its first incarnation, but the directors of the program and a friend helped her to step away from the original pain of the story and to think about the positive aspects. Her story, then, helped not only to entertain an audience, but to also reevaluate her relationship with her father.
- As an audience member at the event, you can feel the energy of the other listeners and speakers. During storytime, you might remember back to a moment of excitement when your parents would tell you a story, or your teacher, or even your babysitter. You can make eye contact with the speakers, watch the reactions of the other audience members, and see the behind-the-scenes activities that define these kinds of events as community-based. In certain circumstances, like during storytime at the Ivywild School in Colorado Springs, you get the opportunity to sit in an old school auditorium/gymnasium where the floors creak and the walls echo, allowing for a whole new dynamic to the experience.
- You can watch the stories on television or listen to them on the radio. Some storytelling programs also offer a podcast version of the stories. Not everyone has the option of going to a place where a storytime is available, but you should not keep yourself from the benefits of storytime simply because hearing the story is important.
- The cost is comparable to that of going to see a Sunday matinee, depending on the event and the type of speakers at the particular storytime (or the size of the event).
- There are many options for where you can go to experience these events:
The Moth (various major cities)
The International Storytelling Center (Tennessee-based)
- These events are meant to be for everyone. Various age groups attend, including children. You can bring your family or you can go alone, and you will still have the opportunity for enjoyment.